Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 2.5 Review: A Fuel-Sipping Adventure

Text by James Wong; Photos by Horizon Drivers' Club
17 May 2022

The high-strength unibody chassis is 57 percent more rigid than the previous generation and it really shows in the way the car remains unruffled over rough roads.

The RAV4 is the Toyota SUV that’s comfortably bigger than the Yaris Cross, while being humbler and more accessible than the Harrier that’s nipping on the toes of Lexus. Its predecessor was a wildly popular car in the early 2000s, and was also sold as a Daihatsu Terios. In fact, it’s the best-selling SUV in the world, with over 10 million cars finding homes.

It is now far more premium inside and out, the chunky exterior hinting at a much bigger car overall, while the interior is pleasingly high-quality, if not luxurious. Built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform, it is quite clear that it offers the best of everything a modern Toyota can: which is to say, Continental car-rivalling refinement, build quality, damping and handling. If you’ve driven a modern-day Camry or Harrier, you would know what I mean, and the RAV4 feels quite similar - in a good way.

No surprise then, that the 2.5-litre ‘Dynamic Force Hybrid’ drivetrain is identical to what you find in the Camry Hybrid and Harrier Hybrid. It is powerful when ICE and hybrid systems work in tandem, giving you a decent turn of speed (0-100 km/h in 8.1 seconds). It is also surprisingly frugal. During my drive I clocked an average of 18 km/l without even trying too hard. Whatever fuel lost in hard acceleration is cleverly gained back with recuperation and having the ICE engine turned off as much as possible. It is not the smoothest thing around - the engine could be rather coarse - but it certainly sips fuel.

The interior is par for the course compared to a Camry, however the infotainment system is third-party rather than Toyota’s own and can feel out of place in a car that is approaching S$200k. It doesn’t integrate very well with the on-board computer on the instrument panel and just cheapens the interior a tad. Otherwise, there is plenty of space on offer including 60:40 folding rear seats and a 542-litre boot that can be opened with a kick sensor. Toyota Safety Sense comes as standard too, which was useful when I was backing out of a blind corner.

The high-strength unibody chassis is 57 percent more rigid than the previous generation and it really shows in the way the car remains unruffled over rough roads. The soft suspension works well to cancel most of them away, and the chassis remains rock solid with nary a creak or rattle. It’s certainly not a sporting car by any measure, but supremely suitable for everyday driving with delightfully quiet proceedings and impeccable road manners. Also, being front-wheel drive, it is resolutely meant only for the road, but that is fine as that’s where we would see RAV4s spending most of their time, anyway.

The RAV4 is a fine car, but it is only $13k cheaper than the base Harrier ‘Premium’ variant. Since one is already paying so much for the car during these trying high COE times, it would be prudent to give the Harrier Hybrid a consideration for just a bit more.





In Summary

We Like

Excellent all-round refinement and ease of driving. Frugal drivetrain and plenty of interior space.

We Don't

Drivetrain can feel coarse when stretched. Third-party infotainment feels out of place. 


The RAV4 Hybrid is a fine SUV and a frugal one at that, despite all the space it offers. 

Sell Fast With Ease - Oneshift

With Oneshift, you get:
  Best value for your car    A peace of mind when selling    Fast sale from start to end


Best offer with no obligations.
Start Now!

I agree to the collection, use and disclosure of my personal data by Carousell and/or such other third party (as may be necessary) and to be contacted (via email, phone call and/or text message) for any purposes in connection with the application of and transaction of the vehicle, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and Carousell's Privacy Policy.

Prompt and Fast. Service officer Muhd Yazid was very helpful in guiding the sales, and when urgent assistance is required! Kudos to officer for being able to address all queries.

Arof Bin Yaacob - 3 months ago

It was very smooth and fast deal. Definitely will use one shift again to buy or sell car.

Lorrin - 4 months ago

Great and prompt service as always!

Nair - 4 months ago

Very satisfied by the service and convenience. Ii sold my car in 2 days.

Tan Wee Ann - 4 months ago

Very happy with the ease and smooth experience!

Minarni - 4 months ago

Excellent service. No hassle. Fast and reliable. Absolutely recommended.

Radzaly Bin Mohd Noor - 4 months ago

Excellent. It gives me better money for my scrap vehicle. Thank you guys

Jefri Sidik Soerdi - 4 months ago

The entire experience from registering my car on OneShift to the handing over to the dealer was very pleasant. The process at OneShift was efficient and transparent. Special thanks to RenAi from OneShift who was very detailed and helpful.

Charmaine Ang - 5 months ago

Great experience. Mr Pan the car dealer from Car Enthusiast is very helpful and friendly. Attitude towards client is awesome..

YEO CHOON WEI - 5 months ago

Good response and support from Angie at One Shift when I wanted to sell off my old Camry which was due to be scrapped in early February. Would recommend this platform for those wanting to buy or sell their cars.

Bahl Alok - 5 months ago